KID-Systeme

Let’s face it, one of the most important amenities on an aircraft is the USB power. In fact, the longer the flight the more important USB power is. Why? Because personal device battery life is a function of time. As you may remember from an earlier issue of IFExpress, we touched on the Mirus Aircraft Seating integration project for AirAsia’s new Hawk slimline economy seating for their A320 fleet that includes the IFE peripheral experts, IFPL, who are supplying the USB interface port for USB consumer technologies. What you may not know is that KID-Systeme is the single source supplier for the USB power source via their SKYpower system. This initial A320 retrofit program, which was announced in 2016, is now up and flying and has been followed-up by a line fit order for the airline’s new Airbus A320/A321neo aircraft. During AIX we had the opportunity to talk with KID about the project and they indicated that the high-power USB outlet in conjunction with the In-Seat Power Supply unit minimize weight while limiting the intrusion into the passenger space, facilitating the passenger experience in Wi-Fi equipped cabins. “… we celebrate a striking success in Asia together with Mirus and we are pleased to announce our new relationship with Mirus and IFPL, offering an innovative, low cost, low weight & high-power USB solution. The system can be installed on Airbus line-fit aircraft as well as on all types of retrofit programs”, says Jens Markworth, VP Sales KID-Systeme GmbH. SKYpower is designed with high power efficiency and low standby power and is intended to guarantee passengers with sufficient power to use their electronic devices, whether they be laptops, smartphones, and/or tablets en route. We foresee more teaming efforts like this one in the industry’s future.


Rockwell Collins

Five Rockwell Collins engineers have been named to the fifth annual class of Rockwell Collins Fellows at a special ceremony yesterday with company leadership and members of the first four classes of Fellows.

Implemented in 2014, the Rockwell Collins Fellows program distinguishes exemplary engineers whose leadership, innovations and technical expertise — along with their dedication to mentoring others — advances Rockwell Collins and their respective fields.

The Class of 2018 Fellows are:

  • Joseph Graf, principal systems engineer in Airborne and Ground Communications Products for Government Systems in Cedar Rapids
  • Patrick Morrissey, senior security engineering manager for Commercial Systems Cyber Security Engineering in Cedar Rapids
  • Warren Prasuhn, principal systems engineer in Safety Programs and Process for Commercial Systems in Cedar Rapids
  • Karl Shepherd, principal systems engineer in Airborne Solutions for Government Systems in Cedar Rapids
  • Joel Wichgers, principal systems engineer in Precision Positioning and Guidance for Engineering & Information Technology in Cedar Rapids

“Our Fellows are helping our company achieve industry-changing moments, historic wins and barrier-breaking technology that’s yet to come,” said Nan Mattai, senior vice president of Engineering & Information Technology. “I’m extremely proud of their accomplishments.”


Gogo

Gogo Business Aviation says its AVANCE L5 connectivity system was installed on the 200th aircraft; it expects 500 by the end of 2018.


Airbus:

The A320 Family Production Line

Airbus has inaugurated the fourth Hamburg A320 Family production line. Making use of digital technologies and a more flexible industrial set-up, the innovative state-of-the-art line is a key enabler for ramping up the single aisle program to 60 aircraft per month by mid-2019.

Frank Horch, Hamburg’s Senator of Economy, Transport and Innovation and Thomas Jarzombek, Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy, witnessed the milestone together with Guillaume Faury, President Airbus Commercial Aircraft, and 500 distinguished guests at a special ceremony in Hamburg. “The inauguration of our latest, most modern A320 production line opens a new chapter in efficient, digital aircraft manufacturing,” said Guillaume Faury. “With these new technologies we are building our aircraft more efficiently, a key enabler for higher production rates. I would like to thank the teams, who pushed this newest Airbus production standard from concept to reality.”

With more than 14,000 A320ceo and A320neo Family aircraft ordered and over 8,100 delivered, the A320 is the world’s most successful single-aisle aircraft family. Incorporating the latest state-of-the-art technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, the A320neo Family provides 15 percent fuel savings at delivery and 20 percent by 2020. To date the A320neo Family has captured nearly a 60 percent market share with more than 6,000 orders from 100 customers.

The A320 Family aircraft are manufactured globally, at Airbus sites in Europe, China and the US. In addition to the new production line, Airbus also inaugurated a larger and modernized Hamburg A320 Family delivery center with more customer areas, more efficient delivery processes and increased hospitality services.

Airbus & the Côte d’Ivoire

Airbus and the government of Côte d’Ivoire signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a framework of collaboration to support the development of the country’s aerospace industry which has been identified as strategic for its economic development. Under the terms of the MoU, Airbus and the government of Côte d’Ivoire will explore channels of cooperation in developing the aerospace sector in Côte d’Ivoire in various areas.

“We are confident that this partnership with Airbus will contribute to Côte d’Ivoire’s economic growth as well as support us build a stronger framework for industrial development, creation of jobs and capacity building for our country,” said his Excellency Daniel Kablan Duncan, Vice President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire. We are committed to deliver on our vision and make Côte d’Ivoire a hub for aerospace technology in Africa,” he added.

“Collaboration between the public and private sector is essential to facilitate economic and industrial growth. Through this MoU we will work closely with Côte d’Ivoire’s government, share expertise, discuss opportunities and support efforts in building a robust and sustainable aerospace sector. At Airbus, we are committed to supporting the sustainable socioeconomic development of Africa through partnerships such as this. ” said Guillaume Faury, President Airbus Commercial Aircraft.

Airbus A330neo

The A330neo, Airbus’ newest widebody aircraft, has embarked on a worldwide tour to demonstrate its readiness for airline operations. As final step in the aircraft certification phase these function & reliability tests, also known as route proving will include ETOPS missions, landing at diversion airports and testing airport handling services. After a fly past over Airbus’ European sites, the A330neo will head for 15 major airports worldwide over five continents, aiming at achieving 150 Flight Test Hours in three trips. The route proving tests are performed with the first A330-900 production aircraft, fully equipped with an Airspace by Airbus cabin and flying in launch operator’s Tap Air Portugal colors. The aircraft first flew on 15th May 2018 launching flight-tests to check cabin systems such as air conditioning. The route proving tests form part of the last trials required for aircraft Type Certification scheduled for summer 2018.

Launched in July 2014, the A330neo family is the new generation A330, comprising two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900 sharing 99% commonality. It builds on the proven economics, versatility and reliability of the A330 family, while reducing fuel consumption by about 25 percent per seat versus previous generation competitors and increasing range by up to 1,500nm compared to the majority of A330s in operation. The A330neo is powered by Rolls-Royce’s latest-generation Trent 7000 engines and features a new wing with increased span and new A350 XWB inspired Sharklets. The cabin provides the comfort of the new “Airspace” amenities.

Airbus & Cathay Pacific Airways

Cathay Pacific Airways has become the second airline to operate the A350-1000, the world’s newest long range widebody airliner. The airline took delivery of the aircraft at a special event in Toulouse, France. The aircraft is the first of 20 A350-1000s ordered by Cathay Pacific and will join the carrier’s growing fleet of A350 XWB aircraft, which already includes 22 A350-900s. Both aircraft are complementary and provide for maximum commonality with unmatched operating efficiencies, while offering passengers the highest levels of comfort in all classes. Travelers will benefit from absolute well-being in the cabin, with more personal space, optimized cabin altitude, more fresh air, controlled temperature & humidity, integrated connectivity and the latest generation of in-flight entertainment system. With its true long-range capability, the A350-1000 will form an important part of Cathay Pacific long-haul operations. The aircraft will be deployed on the airline’s new non-stop route from Hong-Kong to Washington DC, representing the longest flight – approximately 17 hours – performed by any airline out of Hong Kong.


SITA

Global air transport IT provider SITA has announced that its technology, BagJourney, is managing baggage for an increasing number of the world’s airlines. In the first six months of this year alone, more than 20 airlines have chosen the solution. SITA BagJourney is one of the key technologies helping the industry meet the IATA Resolution 753 requirement to track every stage of every bag’s journey.To meet the conditions of Resolution 753, airlines must track every item of baggage at four key points in the journey: at check-in, loading onto the aircraft, transfer and arrival. The biggest challenge airlines and airports face doing this is scanning at the point of transfer and on arrival. Typically, these were not areas of the airport where scanning was done so they require attention and new infrastructure. With a growing number of customers, SITA’s baggage management technology is firmly established as the solution of choice for the air transport industry. Together, SITA’s BagJourney customers handle hundreds of millions of bags each year and these airlines are enjoying as much as 30% reduction in the rates of mishandling. SITA has been the recognized leader in bag tracking and tracing for more than 25 years with its systems in every major airport in the world. SITA BagJourney is the world’s first community-based baggage tracking system that provides an end-to-end view of the baggage journey using data from multiple sources. Today, SITA is leading the baggage community by providing technology and professional services to help airlines track baggage and unlock the value of the vast amounts of tracking data that will be produced.


Inmarsat

The London School of Economics, in association with Inmarsat Aviation, has revealed the findings of Sky High Economics: Evaluating the Economic Benefits of Connected Airline Operations. The report finds that consolidating the advantages of connected aircraft could deliver substantial economic benefits for the global airline industry, as well as significant environmental benefits, including a reduction in the industry’s annual global fuel use and a net reduction in CO2 output.

Highlights of the findings include:

Major savings for airlines

  • The potential for multiple savings, efficiencies and safety opportunities could equate to a 0.75% – 1.00% reduction in the IATA consolidated US$764 billion annual global airline costs of operation.
  • Savings could reach $15billion per year and a reduction of 21.3 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2035

Reduced delays for passengers

  • Weather is responsible for 70% of all flight delays and is a contributing factor in 23% of aviation accidents. Connectivity, which allows airlines to improve navigation and avoid adverse weather conditions could deliver annual cost savings of $1.3billion
  • Connectivity could deliver a 66% reduction in crew-related scheduling delays – adding up to $2.4 billion in annual savings

Revolutionizing air traffic management

  • IP-enabled real time data exchange between aircraft and air traffic control services is allowing airspace to accommodate increasing passenger numbers. By 2035, this could create a $3billion annual saving for the airline industry – while helping to safely meet growth expectations

This is the second chapter in the Sky High Economics series, a first of its kind research report evaluating the economic value of connected aircraft from now until 2035. The first chapter, on the economic value generated by passenger connectivity, was released in September 2017.


Hainan Airlines

On 15th June, the all-new DreamWorks Theater of Universal Studio Hollywood was opened in L.A.. Hainan Airlines has organized an inflight activity themed ‘DreamWorks Theater’ with Universal Studio on their HU469 from Chengdu to Los Angeles and they have also launched four KungFu Panda liveried aircraft. The DreamWorks Theater flight served by the third KungFu Panda liveried aircraft, in which all the flight attendants wore the new uniform to introduce the opening of DreamWorks Theater, as well as, sharing with dedicated Po fans Universal Studio brochures, and a Universal Studio ticket worth $129 to every passenger! In addition, the entertainment project was revealed on this flight which was the new film Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest, which recounts Po’s perilous mission to deliver the rare and precious Liquid of Limitless Power to the Palace. With Po’s new dream on the Kung Fu Panda liveried aircraft, Hainan Airlines graciously invites passengers to participate in the opening of the DreamWorks Theater. We note that this year remarks the 10th anniversary of Hainan Airlines entering North American market. Hainan Airlines has enjoyed rapid development on North American route network over the past decade. Since the launching of Chengdu-Los Angeles route on March 15, 2017, Hainan Airlines has now opened twelve routes from domestic key first- and second-tier cities to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, San Jose, Chicago, Boston and New York.


Lufthansa

Watch this one: Lufthansa has had preliminary take-over talks with Norwegian!


Other News

SkyLights today released a report for airline customer experience managers addressing the current opportunities and obstacles Virtual Reality In-Flight Entertainment (VR IFE) presents to airlines.

Paris, France | June 6, 2018–SkyLights today released a special report for airline customer experience managers entitled “Virtual Reality IFE : Opportunities & Obstacles Addressed”. The paper, which has been published to coincide with IATA’s first ‘Aviation Virtual & Augmented Reality Summit’ in Geneva, aims to further the industry’s understanding of VR IFE as it stands today by exploring the opportunities it offers, as well as the obstacles and respective solutions for implementation.

72% of passengers are willing to adopt VR IFE over other IFE systems, according to an independent survey referenced in the paper. This figure is particularly pronounced among millennials and frequent flyers, at 75% and 80% respectively. With this in mind, the report argues VR IFE can enable airlines to ‘stand out from the crowd and secure a sustainable competitive advantage in the midst of increased competition and increasingly empowered consumers’.

“Leveraging VR as IFE makes a lot of sense on long-haul flights. It offers a remarkable customer experience that makes time fly and creates a feeling of space and privacy onboard.”, said Laurence Fornari, SkyLights’ Head of Sales and Marketing.

In exploring the obstacles of VR IFE highlighted in Gogo’s 2015 white paper ‘Head Mounted Displays for In-Flight Entertainment’, SkyLights’ study explains the solutions that are currently in place and the fast-paced progress that has been made in the field. It concludes that, thanks to advancements made in VR technology and content over the last three years, VR is now ready to deploy in-flight.

“There are two common objections to VR IFE. The first is VR sickness, which is resolved by offering a fixed-screen, cinematic experience, or carefully curating the increasingly abundant VR films that are suitable to view in-flight. At SkyLights, we do both. The second obstacle is passenger safety, which can be circumvented by enabling the cabin crew to pause VR headsets to make an announcement.”, said Rateb Zaouk, SkyLights’ Head of Operations.

While, in the short term, it is unlikely VR IFE will replace seatback screens on long-haul flights, the report explains the advantages of offering VR as an additional service to add value and differentiate the customer journey. Similarly, it suggests VR IFE and W-IFE can be combined for a low cost/high value entertainment offering.

Topics covered in the white paper include:

  • VR within the IFE ecosystem
  • Airline use cases
  • VR IFE content types
  • Opportunities for airlines
  • Obstacles to bringing VR IFE onboard

The report can be downloaded for free at;

http://www.skylights.aero/white-paper-vr-inflight-entertainment/

Chicago | May 31, 2018–In a world where constant connectivity is the norm, and stress among travelers is high, staying connected in flight is having a calming effect on passengers. According to Gogo’s most recent Global Traveler Study, more than 75 percent of travelers say having inflight internet makes them feel less anxious because they can stay in contact with friends and family on the ground. Sixty-five percent say it makes them feel less anxious because they can stay connected to work.

Not only do passengers want to be connected, their expectation is to be connected in the same way in flight as they are on the ground, which means multiple screens doing multiple activities.

“Today, we see a shift as inflight internet moves from being a luxury to an expectation for travelers around the world,” said Alyssa Hayes, Director of Insights at Gogo. “The importance of internet in the booking process has been increasing as now one-third of passengers are looking for inflight internet when they book their flights. The desire for people to stay connected and in contact with the ground is prevalent; passengers look to not just browse the internet but also engage with social media, read the news and check their email.”

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Mobile is king – in terms of devices brought on the plane, 90 percent of passengers bring a mobile device, 59 percent bring a laptop and 48 percent bring a tablet. However, laptops tend to stay in the bag as 62 percent of passengers use their mobile device in flight, 35 percent use a tablet and 34 percent use their laptop.
  • Online browsing dominates – a majority of passengers still say they want internet access for general browsing (75%) followed by social media (63%), checking email (60%) and reading news (60%). When it comes to streaming, 44 percent of passengers want to stream movies and TV shows in flight. YouTube, Netflix, and Spotify are the top desired sources for streaming content.
  • Seatback Screens aren’t dead – Passengers still like seatback screens. Half (47%) of air travelers prefer seatback screens in flight versus 33 percent who prefer their own personal devices. Travelers preferring seatback screens like the ease of use (more than half like that they don’t have to worry about charging their device). Among those preferring their personal devices, 65 percent cite privacy as the primary reason.
  • Multitasking is the norm – Multitasking in flight is the expectation, just as it is at home or at work. People are comfortable watching a movie on the seatback while texting colleagues on their smartphone.

The Gogo Global Traveler Research Study explores the changing behaviors of airline passengers across the world as it pertains to inflight connectivity and entertainment. The study has been significantly expanded for 2018 and now includes data gathered from more than 9,000 air travelers in 18 countries.

To learn more or to download the complete report, visit gogoair.com/globaltraveler.

Chicago, IL | May 29, 2018– Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today that Will Davis has joined the company as Vice President of Investor Relations. He will report to Barry Rowan, Gogo’s Executive Vice President and CFO.

Davis brings nearly 20 years of wireless and communications industry experience in both Investor Relations and financial analyst roles to Gogo. Most recently, he was the Senior Vice President of Marketing & Chief of Staff of the combination of Lumos Networks and Spirit Communications, which is formed by EQT Infrastructure. This transaction closed in April 2018, creating one of the largest private, independent fiber bandwidth companies in the United States. Lumos Networks was taken private by EQT Infrastructure in November 2017 for approximately $1 billion.

“Will’s experience and expertise in the communications infrastructure industry, as well as his deep relationships within the financial markets will be incredibly valuable in helping drive value for Gogo and its shareholders,” said Gogo’s President and CEO, Oakleigh Thorne. “We are excited to have him on the Gogo team.”

In his five years at Lumos Networks, Davis was responsible for educating both institutional investors as well as Wall Street analysts on the company’s strategic repositioning into a premier communications infrastructure player. During this time, the EBITDA trading multiple doubled. He also played an active role in assessing ongoing strategic opportunities, including M&A and the potential sale of the company.

Prior to Lumos Networks, Davis was an Associate Director in sell-side research at UBS, covering wireless and telecom equipment companies. He also served as the wireless analyst at a large global tech-focused hedge fund with assets of approximately $5 billion. Additionally, he served as a Director of Investor Relations at Nokia. During his tenure, Nokia had a market capitalization of over $100 billion.

“In addition to welcoming Will, I also want to thank Varvara Alva, who previously served as Vice President of Investor Relations and Treasurer,” added Thorne. “As our head of investor relations and treasury functions, Varvara was instrumental in leading Gogo through our IPO in 2013, building relationships with institutional investors and Wall Street analysts and managing Gogo’s capitalization work over the last decade.”

Chicago, Illinois | May 16, 2018– Today we are announcing that we have opened a logistics hub based in Amsterdam. The Amsterdam warehouse will stock and ship Gogo 2Ku parts directly to Airline and OEM customers. This hub will offer the same capabilities as the existing Gogo facility located outside of Chicago.

The Amsterdam logistics hub is already in operation and is being managed in partnership with Kuehne and Nagel, one of the world’s leading global transport and logistics company based in Switzerland.

“We believe that expanding these capabilities closer to our airline customers as well as our OEM partners will provide them with the support and flexibility they need during the ramp-up of installing and operating the 2Ku inflight connectivity solution,” said John Wade, president of Gogo’s commercial aviation division. “Partnering with Kuehne + Nagel will strengthen our global supply chain to meet the needs of our customers as we continue to grow internationally.”

Gogo Reaches Mark in Six Months, Bringing 4G Experience to 35 Popular Business Jet Models

Broomfield, Colorado | March 21, 2018–  It took just six months for Gogo Business Aviation (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, to reach a major milestone with the 100th installation of a Gogo AVANCETM L5 system. The install was recently completed by Constant Aviation on an Embraer Legacy 500 for a prestigious mid-west U.S.-based flight department.

More than 275 AVANCE L5 systems have been shipped with hundreds of additional systems on back order and scheduled for delivery in 2018 – highlighting how popular the system has been thus far in the business aviation marketplace. In total, Gogo expects to have approximately 500 installations of the new system by the end of 2018.

AVANCE L5 systems are actively being installed at all MROs and aftermarket OEM service centers. To date, Gogo and its OEM partners and dealers have received type certificate and supplemental type certificate (STC) approvals for AVANCE L5 from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) across more than 35 airframes. Gogo and its partners are securing STCs for more than 25 additional airframes in the coming months, meaning AVANCE L5 will be available for installation on more than 55 business jet platforms.

“The demand for AVANCE L5 has been overwhelming,” said Sergio Aguirre, president of Gogo Business Aviation. “The reports we’re receiving from those who are using L5 have been extremely positive and the system is performing as expected. Our mission now is to get our product manufacturing caught up with the demand, and we’re making tremendous progress on that front every day.”

Gogo AVANCE L5 connects to the Gogo Biz 4G network delivering faster speeds and enhanced network capacity enabling activities such as live streaming video and audio, video conferencing, on-demand movies, personal smartphone use, real-time data for cockpit apps, and remote diagnostics and support while in flight.

“Flight departments, passengers and owners appreciate both the value and the enhanced inflight connectivity experience the AVANCE L5 delivers for everyone on board,” said Jay Rizzo, executive vice president of strategic sales at Constant Aviation. “In addition to the installations completed thus far for Gogo, Constant Aviation has more than 50 AVANCE L5 installations scheduled before the end of 2018. We’re pleased to partner with Gogo to help bring this technology to the cabin and improve the quality of air travel through a better inflight Wi-Fi experience.”

Constant Aviation, a premier full-service MRO with a nationwide network, has secured STCs for Gulfstream, Cessna, Embraer and Bombardier airframes.

“The manufacturers, and our dealers and operators saw the value AVANCE L5 could deliver with a proven and reliable network,” Aguirre continued. “We are grateful to the maintenance directors and avionics leads who offered aircraft for the STC process.”

Gogo AVANCE is an innovative software-centric approach that combines Gogo’s advanced hardware and software technology to create a fully integrated, aviation-grade inflight connectivity and entertainment platform. The platform enables connected aviation technologies, services and applications like never before.

Wow! there is a lot going on in the business and we start off with a new Gogo President, Oakleigh Thorne, a big stockholder who has a history of 30 years of leadership experience – here is the release:

Gogo

Gogo announced that Oakleigh Thorne has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Thorne’s appointment follows the mutual decision by Michael J. Small and the Gogo Board of Directors for Mr. Small to step down as President and Chief Executive Officer, and as a director of the Company. Mr. Thorne, a director of the Company since 2003, has approximately 30 years of leadership experience with significant operational and financial expertise. He currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Thorndale Farm LLC, the family office of the Thorne family, which is the largest Gogo shareholder, owning approximately 30 percent of the Company’s outstanding common stock. Mr. Thorne has served in numerous senior management positions, including as Chief Executive Officer of two public companies.

From May 2000 until July 2007, Mr. Thorne served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of eCollege.com.  Under Mr. Thorne’s leadership, he drove a five-fold increase in equity value which culminated in the sale of the company for more than $500 million. Earlier in his career, Mr. Thorne served as Chief Executive Officer of Commerce Clearing House (CCH) and led a significant operational transformation that culminated in CCH’s $1.9 billion sale to Wolters Kluwer in 1996.

“I am excited to work with the Gogo team as we move forward with urgency to execute on four strategic priorities: driving quality for airlines and passengers, sharpening our operational focus, achieving profitability with the money we have in the bank and driving shareholder value,” said Mr. Thorne. “We are highly confident in our ability to achieve our strategic and financial objectives as we improve execution and realize our significant growth opportunities.”

Ronald T. LeMay, Chairman of the Gogo Board of Directors, said, “With our best-in-class technology and capabilities, the Board believes that Gogo has a clear path to achieving our objectives and that now is the right time to transition leadership. After a comprehensive search process, the Board determined that Oak is the best person to help Gogo achieve our next phase of growth. Oak is a seasoned executive with a strong track record and his interests are aligned with all shareholders. Oak has made significant contributions to Gogo as a member of our Board and has a deep understanding of our business, strategy and operations. On behalf of the Board, we also thank Michael for building Gogo into a global leader and we wish him the best.”

(Editor’s Note: 2Ku has had success both in North America and internationally as well with some significant carriers selecting their 2Ku satellite offering: Delta, American, British Airways, Air France and Cathay Pacific – to name a few. As many of us in the industry are aware, Gogo has experienced some difficulties with the 2Ku antenna -oscillation along with a few other technical issues as well, which we hear the company is addressing. It is IFExpress’ speculation that stockholders are concerned with their investment given the aforementioned issues and the fact that Gogo has not seen a profitable quarter since their IPO in 2011. If we were an investor, we would also be worried about the new telecommunications coming down the pipe within the next few years – possibly 5G, and what that will mean for Gogo, as well as, other legacy connectivity providers in the IFEC realm. As a result, we wouldn’t be surprised to find Gogo courting a major telecom to help solve some of these problems in the very near future.)


ViaSat

Today, communications company Viasat debuted the fastest satellite internet available in the US — up to 100 megabits per second. It’s thanks to the Via-Sat 2 satellite system, which serves North America, Central America, the Caribbean and a small part of northern South America. Viasat is now also offering tiered unlimited data plans, from 12 to 30 megabits per second. The plans top out at $100 per month.

One of the goals of satellite internet is to provide a high-speed internet connection to homes located in areas that don’t have the ground infrastructure to support it. “The innovations we’re making across our satellite system allow us to do extraordinary things, from moving the satellite industry up-market by delivering premium services, speeds and plans that give consumers new choices in their internet service provider, to helping bridge the digital divide in the U.S. today,” said Mark Dankberg, Viasat’s chairman and CEO, in a statement. In addition to home internet, Viasat is also planning on using its Via-Sat 2 satellite to provide faster and more reliable domestic in-flight internet.

Satellite internet is becoming a bigger market, as the cost of access to space is lowered thanks to companies like SpaceX. Indeed, SpaceX itself is dipping its toes into the arena with the recent launch of two prototype satellites in its planned constellation.

Via-Sat 2 may have just launched in June of 2017, but the company is already working on the three-satellite Via-Sat 3 constellation. The new system is designed to blanket the world in high-speed internet access, with data speeds of up to 1 terabyte per second. It’s scheduled to launch in 2020 for America’s satellite, with the two covering the rest of the world to follow.

(Editor’s Note: We asked nice-guy, Don Buchman, Vice President and General Manager, Commercial Aviation to give our readers a bit more on the growing ViaSat inflight connectivity solution, and he told IFExpress: “We know our airline customers and their passengers expect a great Wi-Fi experience, gate-to-gate. We invested in ViaSat-2, our next-generation satellite and ground network technology, to further extend our lead in offering airlines the most capacity available in the sky with even better economics. These factors enable us to give more airlines, their passengers and their crew faster speeds and higher-quality connectivity at the best in-flight connectivity cost.

It’s our job to ensure our in-flight internet service matches our customers’ high standards and expectations. Our ViaSat-2 satellite system nearly double the capacity of ViaSat-1, which means we can deliver even faster speeds; serve higher streaming demands—even in highly-congested air corridors and hubs; and enable optimal video streaming capabilities for the best in-flight viewing experiences onboard. Additionally, ViaSat-2 offers seven times more coverage as compared to ViaSat-1, which means we can now provide the highest-quality internet service to more locations, including: across the continental U.S., to the Caribbean and across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe. And finally, ViaSat-2 essentially doubles the bandwidth economics over our prior generation satellite system, which enables us to offer in-flight internet service at the best cost to the airline.

Our technology takes a substantial leap forward—compared to any other in-flight internet service—which allows us to connect more passengers today, while accommodating the broadband demands of tomorrow.”)


Crystal Cabin Awards

In 2018 there are now 24 pioneering finalists for on-board innovations, the winners to be announced as every year, as part of the leading global trade fair for aircraft cabins, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (10 – 12 April in Hamburg), at a gala dinner to be held at the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski on the evening of Monday, 10 April. The winners will then present their concepts once more at the Expo in the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery, Hall B3, 1st floor, on Thursday 12 April, at 11 AM. Information on all finalists will be available there throughout the entire Expo.2018 finalists: 24 pioneering on-board innovations for airliners | CRYSTAL CABIN AWARD


Big Data/AI

It looks like Boeing and Microsoft are partnering for a efforts in the Big Data and AI and you can learn more here:Boeing and Microsoft: Taking the next step together in digital aviation – Transform  and here Your next Boeing flight may be getting a cloud and AI upgrade, courtesy of Microsoft – TechRepublic We do understand the deal will focus on Big Data to improve fuel consumption and improve maintenance. Further, you can be sure these two technologies will make their way into aviation and travel to improve the flight experience more and more in the next few years.


Airbus

The first Ultra Long Range version of the A350 XWB has rolled out of the Airbus final assembly line in Toulouse. The latest variant of the best-selling A350 XWB Family will be able to fly further than any other commercial airliner and will enter service with launch operator Singapore Airlines later this year. Altogether, Singapore Airlines has ordered seven A350-900 Ultra Long Range aircraft, which it will use on non-stop flights between Singapore and the US, including the world’s longest commercial service between Singapore and New York.

Following completion of the airframe assembly, the first aircraft has now moved to an outdoor station where it will undergo extensive ground tests, prior to installation of its Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

The aircraft will then embark on a short flight test program to certify the changes over the standard A350-900 that will bring the additional range capability. These include a modified fuel system that increases fuel carrying capacity by 24,000 L or 6340 Gal., without the need for additional fuel tanks. The test phase will also measure enhanced performance derived from aerodynamic improvements, including extended winglets.

With a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 280 tonnes, the A350 XWB Ultra Long Range is capable of flying up to 9,700 nautical miles or over 20 hours non-stop, combining the highest levels of passenger and crew comfort with unbeatable economics for such distances.

The A350 XWB is an all new family of widebody long-haul airliners shaping the future of air travel. The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivaled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs. The A350 XWB features an Airspace by Airbus cabin offering absolute well-being on board with the quietest twin-aisle cabin and new air systems.

To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 854 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever. Singapore Airlines is one of the largest customers for the A350 XWB Family, having ordered a total of 67 A350-900s, including the seven Ultra Long Range models. The carrier has already taken delivery of 21 A350-900s.


Other Stuff

AVANCE L3 Has Small, Lightweight Form Factor and Affordable Pricing Options

Broomfield, CO | February 7, 2018– Gogo Business Aviation’s innovative new inflight connectivity system – Gogo AVANCETM L3 – has received Supplemental Type Certification (STC) and Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) from the FAA.

The latest connectivity solution from Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO) lets users customize their inflight experience based on their unique needs and can be installed on business aircraft of all types, sizes and ages, but is an ideal solution for smaller aircraft including turboprops and light jets. Gogo is actively fulfilling orders that have already been booked and installations are underway via Gogo’s dealer network.

AVANCE L3 delivers the benefits of the Gogo AVANCE platform to passengers and flight departments in a small, lightweight form factor, with the most affordable pricing options in business aviation. The AVANCE platform integrates a full range of Smart Cabin features, allowing passengers to simply and reliably access and use all available data, voice, maps, entertainment and cabin management system (CMS) services.

By leveraging the AVANCE platform, the L3 delivers an unparalleled level of flexibility so users can adjust their system’s capabilities up or down without anyone needing to board the aircraft. Once installed, if a customer’s needs change and they want more or fewer capabilities, Gogo can make the adjustments to the system remotely.

“AVANCE L3 delivers the ultimate in flexibility,” said Mike Syverson, senior vice president of development for Gogo Business Aviation. “The AVANCE software-centric platform gives us capabilities that are transformative to business aviation. Users are no longer constrained by the hardware itself and there’s no need for downtime in a hangar if business needs evolve and require different service levels.”

The new system provides a level of flexibility not seen before in business aviation that allows operators to tailor their passengers’ experience and control and manage the number of devices they allow to connect.

Using AVANCE L3, anyone onboard the aircraft can stay connected to email; send text messages and make voice calls with Gogo Text & Talk (service plan required); access their favorite flight apps such as moving maps, weather and flight information; or watch movies and TV shows using Gogo Vision (service plan required). For customers looking for full internet connectivity, AVANCE L3 can be enabled to connect to the Gogo Biz data network delivering a 3G experience. It’s the ultimate in scalability and flexibility.

Three service offerings are available:

Gogo’s dealers and OEM partners are actively pursuing multiple STCs that will certify the Gogo AVANCE L3 system for installation across a variety of business aircraft models. Most other business aircraft models will also be available for Gogo AVANCE L3 system installation utilizing existing STCs.

Chicago | November 28, 2017– Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today that Air Canada is now the first North American airline to offer the choice of complimentary Gogo Wi-Fi to their most frequent flyers.

Each year, Air Canada recognizes its most frequent flyers with Altitude status and offers them the ability to choose select privileges to personalize their travel experience. Beginning later this year, the airline will offer Altitude Elite 75K and Super Elite 100K members the opportunity to select complimentary 6- and 12-month unlimited use passes, respectively, for inflight connectivity on board Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada Rouge operated flights.

“We are delighted to partner with Air Canada to bring the industry’s leading inflight connectivity solution to their loyal customers for free,” said John Happ, Gogo’s Regional President, Americas.  “Gogo is finding new ways to leverage connectivity to enable unique experiences for our airline partners that fit their individual needs.  Free Gogo for Air Canada’s most frequent customers is a great example of how we are delivering on this for our airline partners.”

“Earlier this year, Air Canada announced plans to launch an all new, digital-first loyalty program in June 2020. While we design the future program, we’re committed to adding new options and benefits for Altitude members today and over the next two years,” said Mark Nasr, Vice President Loyalty & eCommerce. “In-flight Wi-Fi is a critical amenity for business and leisure travelers alike, so we’re excited to become the first North American airline to offer the choice of unlimited Wi-Fi plans to our most frequent Altitude members.”

Members will be able to choose this Select Privilege as part of the 2018 Altitude benefit year. The passes will also be eligible for use on Gogo’s 2Ku service, a leading high-speed satellite Wi-Fi solution.

Chicago | November 28, 2017–Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today that Air Canada is now the first North American airline to offer the choice of complimentary Gogo Wi-Fi to their most frequent flyers.

Each year, Air Canada recognizes its most frequent flyers with Altitude status and offers them the ability to choose select privileges to personalize their travel experience. Beginning later this year, the airline will offer Altitude Elite 75K and Super Elite 100K members the opportunity to select complimentary 6- and 12-month unlimited use passes, respectively, for inflight connectivity on board Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada Rouge operated flights.

“We are delighted to partner with Air Canada to bring the industry’s leading inflight connectivity solution to their loyal customers for free,” said John Happ, Gogo’s Regional President, Americas.  “Gogo is finding new ways to leverage connectivity to enable unique experiences for our airline partners that fit their individual needs.  Free Gogo for Air Canada’s most frequent customers is a great example of how we are delivering on this for our airline partners.”

“Earlier this year, Air Canada announced plans to launch an all new, digital-first loyalty program in June 2020. While we design the future program, we’re committed to adding new options and benefits for Altitude members today and over the next two years,” said Mark Nasr, Vice President Loyalty & eCommerce. “In-flight Wi-Fi is a critical amenity for business and leisure travelers alike, so we’re excited to become the first North American airline to offer the choice of unlimited Wi-Fi plans to our most frequent Altitude members.”

Members will be able to choose this Select Privilege as part of the 2018 Altitude benefit year. The passes will also be eligible for use on Gogo’s 2Ku service, a leading high-speed satellite Wi-Fi solution.

Cathay Pacific Becomes First Large Global Fleet in Asia to Select Gogo’s 2Ku Inflight Connectivity Solution

Chicago, IL | November 16, 2017– Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today that it has been selected by the Cathay Pacific Group to install Gogo’s 2Ku inflight connectivity solution on its wide-body fleet.
The carrier will install 2Ku on its Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 aircraft across Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon fleets, which are both part of the Cathay Pacific Group.

2Ku is the industry’s leading inflight connectivity solution and delivers an internet experience comparable to what passengers have on the ground.
“We are excited to partner with Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon to bring their guests a new onboard connectivity experience with 2Ku,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO. “As a premier global airline group, and Hong Kong’s flagship carrier, Cathay passengers expect a premium experience, which 2Ku is delivering today with superior bandwidth, coverage and availability.”
With more than 2,000 aircraft awards, 2Ku is the most rapidly adopted satellite-based broadband connectivity technology in aviation. The technology has been adopted by leading airlines in North America, South America, Europe and now Asia.

“Our goal is to allow our customers to be connected anytime and anywhere – and this agreement with Gogo is a huge step in enabling us to deliver this,” said Paul Loo, Cathay Pacific Chief Customer and Commercial Officer.”

2Ku will give Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon’s guests a seamless experience across their existing fleet of wide-body aircraft. The service is expected to go live by mid-2018.

Chicago | October 31, 2017–Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced it has conducted its first successful test flight and has begun the nationwide rollout of its new regional Air-to-Ground (ATG) inflight network.

The next generation ATG network combined with Gogo’s proprietary aero antenna, in-cabin network and software platform will bring up to 30 times more bandwidth to an aircraft than our original ATG solution.  Once the network upgrades are complete, Gogo will have a North American ATG solution that will deliver performance on the aircraft that is comparable to Gogo’s 2Ku global satellite solution.

Gogo’s next generation ATG network will have peak network capacity of more than 100 Gbps.  When combined with Gogo’s global satellite network, Gogo will have the highest capacity network ever built that’s dedicated to serving aviation.

“Our networks and inflight connectivity solutions are dedicated to serving aviation and today we are delivering more bandwidth to deliver a better passenger experience and support our aviation partners’ operations,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO.

Our next generation ATG network utilizes unlicensed spectrum in the 2.4GHz spectrum band as well as the licensed spectrum from Gogo’s original ATG network to provide greater bandwidth and reliability.  It also leverages Gogo’s existing ATG network backhaul and infrastructure of more than 250 cell towers.  On the aircraft, Gogo has developed a proprietary new antenna and modem that will produce peak speeds of more than 100 Mbps per aircraft.

The solution will be ideal for business aviation aircraft, commercial regional jets and select mainline aircraft operating in the U.S. For business aviation aircraft, this service will be available as an upgrade to aircraft already equipped with Gogo’s Avance L5 connectivity solution.  For commercial aviation, any aircraft outfitted with equipment designed to leverage Gogo’s first generation ATG network will simply need to be outfitted with a new modem and blade antenna to take advantage of the new service.  The network will be available in 2018.

Chicago, IL | September 20, 2017 — Gogo Inc. (“Gogo”) (NASDAQ:GOGO) announced the commencement of a private offering of $100 million aggregate principal amount of additional 12.500% senior secured notes due 2022 (the “Additional Notes”) to be issued by its direct wholly owned subsidiary, Gogo Intermediate Holdings LLC (the “Issuer”), and its indirect wholly owned subsidiary, Gogo Finance Co. Inc. (the “Co-Issuer” and, together with the Issuer, the “Issuers”). The Issuers’ 12.500% Senior Secured Notes due 2022 were previously issued in an aggregate principal amount of $525 million on June 14, 2016 and in an aggregate principal amount of $65 million on January 3, 2017 (collectively, the “Previously Issued Notes”). The Additional Notes and the Previously Issued Notes will be treated as the same series for all purposes under the indenture and collateral agreements, each as amended and supplemented, that govern the Initial Notes and will govern the Additional Notes. The Additional Notes will be guaranteed on a senior secured basis by Gogo and all of the existing and future domestic restricted subsidiaries of the Issuer (other than the Co-Issuer), subject to certain exceptions (the “Guarantors”). The Additional Notes and the related guarantees will be secured by first priority liens on substantially all of the Issuers’ and the Guarantors’ assets, including pledged equity interests of the Issuers and the Guarantors. There can be no assurance that the proposed offering of Additional Notes will be completed.

The Issuer intends to use the net proceeds from the sale of the Additional Notes to accelerate the commercial rollout of Gogo’s next-generation global satellite solution, 2Ku, for working capital and other general corporate purposes.

The Additional Notes and the guarantees will be offered in a private offering exempt from the registration requirements of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). The Additional Notes and the guarantees will be offered only to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act and to non-U.S. persons outside the United States in reliance on Regulation S under the Securities Act.

The consummation of the offering of the Additional Notes will be conditioned upon, among other things, satisfaction or waiver of the conditions to the previously announced consent solicitation with respect to the Notes, including obtaining the valid and unrevoked consents from holders of Previously Issued Notes as of 5:00 p.m.New York City time, on September 13, 2017 holding no less than a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding Previously Issued Notes, excluding Previously Issued Notes held by the Issuers or any affiliates of the Issuers (the “Requisite Consents”), on or prior to 5:00 p.m.New York City time, on September 20, 2017, unless extended or earlier terminated by the Issuers, and, if the Requisite Consents are obtained, the execution of a supplemental indenture to the indenture governing the Previously Issued Notes, providing for the proposed amendments to the indenture, including an increase in the amount of additional secured indebtedness that may be incurred by the Issuer and its restricted subsidiaries.

The Additional Notes and the guarantees have not been registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold in the United Statesabsent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state laws.

This press release is for informational purposes only and is not an offer to sell or purchase nor the solicitation of an offer to sell or purchase securities and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any state or jurisdiction in which, or to any person to whom, such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Federal Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding Gogo’s financing plans, including statements related to the Issuers’ offering of the Additional Notes and intended use of net proceeds of the offering, that are based on management’s beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to management. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, risks related to whether the Issuers will consummate the offering of the Additional Notes on the expected terms, or at all, market and other general economic conditions, whether the Issuers and the Guarantors will be able to satisfy the conditions required to close any sale of the Additional Notes, and the fact that Gogo’s management will have broad discretion in the use of the proceeds from any sale of the Additional Notes. Forward-looking statements represent the beliefs and assumptions of Gogo only as of the date of this press release and Gogo undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. As such, Gogo’s future results may vary from any expectations or goals expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements included in this press release, possibly to a material degree.. For a discussion of some of the important factors that could cause Gogo’s results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements included in this press release, investors should refer to the disclosure contained under the headings “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in Gogo’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

Chicago, IL |  September 20, 2017 — Gogo Inc. (“Gogo”) (NASDAQ:GOGO) today announced that with respect to the previously announced consent solicitation with respect to the 12.500% senior secured notes due 2022 (the “Notes”) issued by Gogo’s direct wholly owned subsidiary, Gogo Intermediate Holdings LLC (the “Issuer”), and its indirect wholly owned subsidiary, Gogo Finance Co. Inc. (together with the Issuer, the “Issuers”), the Issuers have received consents from holders of at least a majority in aggregate principal amount of the Notes (excluding Notes held by the Issuers or any affiliates of the Issuers) as of 5:00 p.m.New York City time, on September 13, 2017.

In conjunction with receiving the requisite consents, the Issuers, Gogo and certain subsidiaries of the Issuer, as guarantors (Gogo and such subsidiaries, the “Guarantors”), and U.S. Bank National Association, as trustee (the “Trustee”), entered into the first supplemental indenture (the “Supplemental Indenture”) to the indenture governing the Notes, dated as of June 14, 2016 (the “Indenture”), to effect the proposed amendments to the Indenture (collectively, the “Indenture Amendments”). The purpose of the Indenture Amendments is to provide Gogo and its subsidiaries with additional flexibility under the Indenture to opportunistically raise additional financing and to facilitate the growth of Gogo’s business. The Supplemental Indenture became effective immediately upon execution.

In addition, the Issuers and the Guarantors, as grantors (the “Grantors”), and U.S. Bank National Association, as collateral agent (the “Collateral Agent”), entered into the collateral agreement amendment (the “CAA”), which amended the collateral agreement, dated as of June 14, 2016 (the “Collateral Agreement”), made by the Grantors in favor of the Collateral Agent, to effect the proposed amendments to the Collateral Agreement (the “Collateral Agreement Amendments” and, together with the Indenture Amendments, the “Amendments”). The purpose of the Collateral Agreement Amendments is to reduce the administrative burden on Gogo and its subsidiaries with respect to foreign intellectual property-related matters. The CAA became effective immediately upon execution.

Within 10 business days of 5:00 p.m.New York City time, on September 20, 2017 (the “Expiration Date”), the Issuer will pay, or cause to be paid, to each Note holder who validly delivered (and did not validly revoke) a consent a cash payment of $2.50 for each $1,000 of principal amount of Notes in respect of which such consent was delivered. Following execution of the Supplemental Indenture and the CAA, any consents given may not be revoked.

This announcement is for informational purposes only and is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of an offer to buy any Notes or any other securities. This announcement is also not a solicitation of consents with respect to the Amendments or any securities. The solicitation of consents was made pursuant to the terms of the Consent Solicitation Statement and the related Letter of Consent. The solicitation of consents was not made in any jurisdiction in which, or to or from any person to or from whom, it is unlawful to make such solicitation under applicable state or foreign securities or “blue sky” laws.

Any inquiries regarding the consent solicitation may be directed to D.F. King & Co., Inc., as information, tabulation and paying agent for the consent solicitation, at (877) 283-0325 (toll-free), (212) 269-5500 (collect) or by email at gogo@dfking.com, or to the solicitation agent for the consent solicitation, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, at (800) 624-1808 (toll-free) or (212) 761-1057 (collect).

Chicago, IL | August 22, 2017– Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today that it has been selected by Alaska Airlines to install Gogo’s 2Ku inflight connectivity solution on its entire Boeing and Airbus fleet.

2Ku is the industry’s leading inflight connectivity solution and delivers an internet experience comparable to what guests have on the ground, including the ability to stream video from the most popular streaming video services. 2Ku also has global coverage, which means guests onboard Alaska aircraft will have service from gate-to-gate nearly everywhere these aircraft fly, including while traveling over the ocean to popular destinations like Hawaii, Mexico, and Costa Rica.

“We are excited to partner with Alaska to bring their guests a new onboard connectivity experience with 2Ku,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO. “2Ku is the leading inflight internet solution on the market today in terms of bandwidth delivered to each guest’s device, coverage and reliability. We have market leading satellite capacity with the ability to continually add more to meet growing demand. We continue to innovate and improve the technology to make sure 2Ku will keep Alaska ahead of the technology curve.”

“We conducted an extensive review to find a satellite Wi-Fi solution that has a proven track record with commercial airlines and will meet our guest’s expectations for what they want to do in the air today, but will also continue to meet their needs in the future,” said Andrew Harrison, chief commercial officer at Alaska Airlines. “Our guests will soon be able to connect in the air, just as they do out and about on the ground helping make their travel time more relaxing and productive – whether that’s scrolling through Facebook, checking email, or watching what’s trending on YouTube.”

2Ku will give Alaska’s guests a seamless experience across their Boeing and Airbus fleet. Alaska will be disclosing pricing closer to service launch. Gogo’s 2Ku service will be installed on Alaska’s Boeing 737 aircraft beginning in the first half of 2018, with 40 to 50 planes expected to be completed by the end of the year. The remainder of Alaska and Virgin America’s mainline fleet will be fully satellite-equipped by early 2020.

In addition to installing 2Ku, Alaska also announced today that it will now offer free chat with Gogo Messaging Pass on flights operated by Virgin America – a benefit already available to guests flying on Alaska.

With Free Chat, guests flying with Virgin America can now use iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger on their smartphones to send greetings from 35,000 feet – for free. Alaska was the first U.S. airline to offer a dedicated Free Chat service and, since its introduction, more than 1 million guests have used it to stayed connected on their Alaska flights.

Industry’s Leading Inflight Connectivity Technology Now Installed on Numerous Aircraft Types Flying All Over the World

Chicago, IL | June 6, 2017–
Gogo (NASDAQ:GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, has reached a milestone of 200 installations of 2Ku, the industry’s leading inflight connectivity technology.

The company now has installed the technology on many major fleet types including Airbus’ A319, A321, A330 and A340 aircraft; and Boeing’s 737-800 and 747-400 aircraft. For the first time, passengers flying in all regions of the world are now experiencing high-speed inflight internet.

“We are still on pace to hit our goal of between 550 and 650 2Ku equipped aircraft by the end of this year,” says John Wade, EVP and Chief Operating Officer. “I’m also extremely excited to say that we have managed to get our install times down to less than 2 days, by far the best in the industry. Less downtime for the aircraft is hugely important for our airline partners.”

Gogo’s 2Ku technology is a proprietary dual antenna system developed to bring global streaming-class internet to aircraft. 2Ku is now flying and outperforming all other global connectivity solutions and delivers speeds of 15 Mbps to each passenger device, covering 98 percent of all flight hours around the world with 98 percent system availability.

With an open architecture that leverages current and future Ku satellites, 2Ku offers unrivaled adaptability to keep airlines connected now and in the future. Performance of the technology will be boosted by a new modem currently being installed on aircraft. The proprietary features of the new modem significantly increase throughput and reliability to and from the aircraft, allowing significantly more than the current 15 Mbps to each passenger device.

Gogo currently has 14 airlines representing more than 1600 aircraft awards for the 2Ku technology.

Broomfield, CO & Cedar Rapids, Iowa| June 5, 2017– Moving maps are one of the most popular features of any inflight entertainment system and today Gogo Business Aviation (NASDAQ: GOGO) and Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL) bring Airshow® moving maps to customers in the business aviation market. Airshow is the aviation industry’s leading moving map application, and will now be available to Gogo’s customer base for use in business aviation cabins without the need for additional hardware.

“Understanding flight progress, geographic location and scheduled arrival time is deeply satisfying to travelers of all ages,” said Sergio Aguirre, general manager of Gogo Business Aviation. “Now, with Airshow, passengers can enjoy stunning 3D graphics with amazing geographic detail on their personal devices. It’s a fantastic addition to our lineup of inflight applications.”

For Gogo ATG customers, no additional hardware is required to add Airshow Moving Map, which makes it an easy and cost-effective product extension to further enhance the passenger experience. Simply activate an account with Rockwell Collins and download the Airshow Mobile 2 app – the most advanced 3D moving map application for business aviation.1 Airshow Moving Map fits aircraft of all types and sizes, from turboprops and light jets to the largest VVIP aircraft.

Key features of the next-generation app, which is optimized for iOS® and Android phones and tablets, include:

  • Detailed, interactive high-definition satellite 3D maps
  • Multi-touch, gesture-based roaming, zooming and navigation
  • Customized user display settings and layers, available in portrait or landscape mode
  • Points of interest pop-up panel with images and captions
  • Consolidated view of maps and flight information into one display
  • Multiple viewpoint options including cockpit, pilot head-up display and window seats

“This collaborative effort with Gogo provides us another avenue for bringing our industry-leading Airshow into the hands of business aircraft passengers,” said Greg Irmen, vice president and general manager, Flight Controls and Information Systems for Rockwell Collins. “Airshow is the most deployed moving map in aviation because of its advanced technology and features that keep passengers and crew interactively connected with their flight experience.”

Gogo secures capacity on 12 transponders across two SES satellites, enabling airlines to meet growing passenger demand for inflight connectivity over the U.S. and Canada

Luxembourg | April 4, 2017– SES S.A. (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) today announced new satellite capacity deals with Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO) to meet the growing demand for high-speed inflight connectivity services on travel routes over the U.S. and Canada. The new contracts with Gogo include capacity on 12 additional Ku-band transponders, as well as supporting ground infrastructure.

With these latest agreements, Gogo has now signed important capacity deals across 11 SES satellites around the world, including significant long-term agreements for Ku-band high throughput (HTS) capacity onboard two SES satellites (SES-14 and SES-15) scheduled for launch this year.

SES continues to build a global network of multi-layered, multi-band capacity to meet the specific needs and requirements of the evolving aeronautical market.

“We’ve always said that our 2Ku solution is the most future-proof solution on the market because it allows us to improve the experience without touching an aircraft. This latest capacity deal with SES allows us to add bandwidth over some of the busiest air travel routes over the U.S. and Canada, where our airline customers continue to see passenger demand for high-speed connectivity on the rise,” said Anand Chari, Gogo’s Chief Technology Officer. “SES, with its global satellite fleet, intelligent ground infrastructure, and nimble approach to meeting our evolving needs, is playing a pivotal role in how we are leveraging satellites to meet the needs of global aviation.”

“SES has a robust, global network of multi-layered, multi-orbit and multi-band satellite capacity that is enabling leading inflight connectivity providers, such as Gogo, to create exciting new services. This allows airlines to offer their passengers a great connected experience anywhere they go,” noted Elias Zaccack, Senior Vice President of Global Mobility for SES. “This latest capacity agreement with Gogo signals the continued demand for high-speed connectivity and high quality entertainment over one of the busiest aero markets in the world and further demonstrates the strength of SES’s global Mobility solutions.”

Major Milestone Enables 2Ku to be Factory Installed on Airbus Aircraft

Chicago, IL | April 4, 2017– Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, has been selected by Airbus as a lead supplier for its High Bandwidth Connectivity (HBC) program. The designation officially enables factory line-fit installation of Gogo’s 2Ku global satellite solution on Airbus A320 Family, A330, and A380 aircraft after successful offerability process and further system certification.

Being part of Airbus’ HBC program means airlines can place future aircraft orders with Airbus and have Gogo’s 2Ku technology installed at the factory on all major fleet types. Those aircraft are then delivered with the technology already installed and ready for service on day one.

“We are proud to be selected by Airbus as a supplier for Airbus’ high bandwidth connectivity program and look forward to working with them to provide our industry leading 2Ku solution to their customers,” says Anand Chari, executive vice president and CTO at Gogo. “The selection is acknowledgement of the traction we’ve made with 2Ku in the marketplace. It’s also validation of the long-term viability of this technology and its ability to serve commercial aviation for the foreseeable future.”

Gogo’s 2Ku technology is the most future-proof global technology for inflight connectivity and delivers streaming-video speeds to passengers. 2Ku enables a wide range of customizable experiences for Gogo’s airline partners. For passengers, it means in-flight Wi-Fi and wireless entertainment; for airlines, it means connecting flight attendants, pilots, crew, and the aircraft itself. Currently, Gogo has more than 1500 aircraft commitments to 2Ku representing 12 commercial airlines. Most of 1500+ aircraft are set to be flying with the technology by the end of 2018.

>Kontron’s ARINC 791-compliant modem manager to support simultaneous Internet connectivity in Gogo’s retrofit and line-fit programs

Augsburg, Germany | April 3, 2017 –
Kontron, a global market leader for embedded computing technology (ECT), and a leading supplier of avionics systems for the Inflight Entertainment & Connectivity (IFE&C) market, announced today that Gogo will deploy Kontron’s next-generation MODMAN (Modem Manager) unit in its 2Ku IFC system in both retrofit and OEM line fit programs.
The Kontron MODMAN is based on the Taurus Ku-band modem from Gilat Satellite Networks and utilizes the advanced technologies from the Kontron ACE Flight server family of products, which include processor and Ethernet Switch building blocks. The MODMAN will support simultaneous inflight Internet connectivity and IPTV to users of the Gogo 2Ku system.
“The selection of the Kontron MODMAN for the Gogo 2Ku IFC system is a significant milestone for us,” said Andy Mason, vice president technology at Kontron America. “The Kontron team has a long history of collaboration with Gogo, going back to the first air-to-ground deployments in the US. Kontron’s global footprint allows us to fully support the Gogo 2Ku system and its worldwide customers.”

“Gogo is constantly looking to innovate throughout the entire ecosystem of our network solutions including the hardware,” said Anand Chari, chief technology officer at Gogo. “Kontron has been a great partner in helping us continue to improve on our already industry-leading technologies.”

The Kontron MODMAN leverages the standard product features of the company’s ACE Flight 4780 server and is compliant to the ARINC 791 standard, which covers airborne Ku-band & Ka-band SATCOM systems. Conformance to ARINC 791 combined with the ACE Flight open architecture platform, means that Kontron can easily adapt the MODMAN product to other installations and a diverse range of modem solutions.

Kontron will demonstrate its complete line of avionics products at the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2017 held in Hamburg, Germany April 4 – 6, 2017 in the Kontron Booth #D50, Hall B2. Kontron has extensive background in the supply of airborne servers, wireless access points and communication units to the rapidly growing In-flight Entertainment & Connectivity (IFE&C) market. There are currently more than 4,000 commercial aircraft and business jets operating worldwide with Kontron equipment on board.

As always just before AIX Hamburg, it gets newsy and so it isn’t surprising that this week we have a lot for our readers to peruse. And, we fully expect the media to continue to build leading up to AIX and throughout the first few days of the show. As 2017 moves ahead, Boeing and Airbus are increasing their production efforts to catch up with orders (Backlog: Airbus = 6792 planes and Boeing = 5678 aircraft) while airplane purchases are thinning out. The near term IFEC market is looking good but the real question is what happens 3 years from now? Stay Tuned on this one as it will be interesting to see IFEC changes that integrate with a multiplicity of connected carry-on devices and technology innovations. And with that said, lets get started:

Lufthansa Systems

At this year’s AIX Lufthansa Systems will showcase exciting new features of its multiple award-winning IFE solution BoardConnect and its enhanced crew app mCabin. The user experience stands at the heart of new developments. Lufthansa Systems will present a major new release of BoardConnect with a new user interface. “Airlines can differentiate and easily adapt the UI without costly and time-consuming reprogramming. Furthermore, the BoardConnect architecture will become even more flexible – it is easy for airlines to personalize, add or remove features – making it the best platform for the connected aircraft. Our unique container technology allows to integrate applications for cabin, cockpit and crew in addition to IFE and connectivity.”

Lufthansa Systems further expands its existing partner network. Thus, airlines can benefit from this flexibility by tailoring their IFE offer to the needs of their target group, which ensures satisfied passengers and brings in additional revenues. At AIX Lufthansa Systems will announce new partnerships, which will provide additional services and functionalities. “Thanks to our latest technology upgrade BoardConnect becomes kind of a cloud provider in the sky hosting complete applications of third parties within the open platform. Additional services can be included fast and flexible. This enables airlines to enhance the digital experience of their passengers and supports them to complete their digital transformation goals. The new digital platform is available with or without connectivity. Lufthansa Group started the go-live of the new BoardConnect based connectivity service in Europe early 2017. Together with Lufthansa Technik and Inmarsat, Lufthansa Systems is currently equipping aircraft of Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Eurowings. During the show, Lufthansa Systems will give an update on the current roll-out projects for connectivity services and announce new customers.”

The company will also present a whole new mCabin product suite. The mobile solutions for cabin crews are perfect for supporting airlines of all sizes and business models in their process of digitalization. Prior to departure and during the flight, the mCabin crew app provides the cabin team with all of the flight and passenger service information they need. This is an app designed for excellent passenger communication, smooth crew management and optimal processes at every stage of the crew duty day. mCabin is available on Windows and iOS and has been further enhanced in its modularity. Airlines can select modules and thereby tailor mCabin according to their individual needs. mCabin/CityGuide is an exclusive guidebook platform for the crew with local information and tips about the crew’s destinations. Additionally, Lufthansa Systems has developed some great new features for mCabin and another separate app in the mCabin suite which will be presented at the AIX. In general, Lufthansa Systems sees an increased demand for a mobile solution like mCabin in the market with both passengers and crew members expecting a greater digital experience on board. During the show, Lufthansa Systems will give an update on further developments and planned cooperations regarding the mCabin suite. Visit Lufthansa Systems and learn more about BoardConnect at booth no #2E24


Gogo

Gogo has reached a major milestone by installing its 3,000th commercial aircraft with in-flight connectivity. Today, the company has 3,000 commercial aircraft and more than 4,200 business aircraft, totaling 7,200 aircraft installed. More than 130 of the 3,000 commercial aircraft are now installed with Gogo’s industry leading 2Ku technology that leverages Gogo’s global satellite network. “The demand for in-flight connectivity continues to grow at a rapid pace and we are quickly moving beyond connecting passengers to connecting flight attendants, pilots and eventually components on the planes themselves,” said Michael Small, president and CEO at Gogo. “To meet this demand, Gogo has invested in the best broadband networks to meet the needs of global aviation — no matter the size of the aircraft or where that aircraft flies. “Most of the 7,200 aircraft are connected using Gogo’s North American ground network, but an increasing number of commercial aircraft are now flying on Gogo’s global satellite network.

2Ku relies on the new low profile, high efficiency Ku-band satellite antennas that outperform other connectivity solutions in the global aviation market. Since the announcement of Gogo’s 2Ku technology, 12 airlines representing more than 1500 aircraft have signed up for the service. Nearly all of these aircraft are expected to be installed by the end of 2018.

“Whether an aircraft is flying on our global satellite network or on our North American ATG network, we are delivering industry leading performance in terms of coverage, cost, capacity and reliability. With high-throughput satellites being added to our global network and an upgrade being made to our ATG network, both networks will bring even better performance in 2017 and beyond,” added Small.

Gogo, which provides aircraft connectivity, had revenue of $597 million in 2016, expects positive free cash flow in 2019, a year earlier than previous guidance, and expects 2Ku installs on 450 to 550 aircraft in 2017.


Thales

Thales, SES S.A. and Hughes Network Systems (HUGHES) announced a set of strategic agreements to enhance the delivery of FlytLIVE – Thales’ connected inflight experience solution, offering the most advanced and efficient aeronautical connectivity solution available in the Americas. Under the agreements, SES contracts capacity on Hughes EchoStar XVII and EchoStar XIX high throughput (HTS) Ka-band satellites to complement its AMC-15 and AMC-16 network giving FlytLIVE the only redundant coverage network in North America. SES will also purchase multiple JUPITER System gateways from Hughes to qualify Thales to deploy its FlytLIVE service on Hughes JUPITER Aeronautical platform. This will allow Thales to initiate its next-generation connected inflight experience offering in North America this year. Further, SES contracted Hughes for service on EchoStar XVII and EchoStar XIX HTS satellites, and combines them with its AMC-15 and AMC-16 network, to provide a four-satellite constellation for the launch of Thales FlytLIVE network. The four-satellite network strengthens Thales’ FlytLIVE network as it enters initial operations in 2017 and in advance of the milestone launch of SES-17 Ka-band HTS satellite, planned for 2020. Further, SES is to purchase multiple JUPITER System gateways from Hughes and contract ground segment operations to Hughes to bring seamless connectivity to Thales FlytLIVE network. SES will also purchase multiple Hughes JUPITER System gateways to support traffic carried over AMC-15 and AMC-16, as well as SES-17, when it enters service. FlyLIVE’s network will deliver industry leading speed and capacity for support of growing passenger service demands and will comfortably accommodate forecasted traffic increases through the launch of SES-17, which is manufactured by Thales Alenia Space and configured with close to 200 spot beams and coverage tailored to aviation and mobility markets. Lastly, we note that Thales selected Hughes JUPITER System Aeronautical platform for its next-generation IFC solution. At the center of the new service is Hughes high-performance JUPITER system that is already in operation for broadband enterprise and consumer services in other major markets globally and will be introduced for aeronautical use on the Thales FlytLIVE network. Unique features of the network include rapid beam-to-beam and satellite-to-satellite switching and DVB-S2x transmission. Thales has already begun service testing using its new Thales Ka-band aero antenna and the Hughes JUPITER technology.


Inmarsat

Inmarsat has announced today that International Airlines Group (IAG) has signed a contract to be the launch customer of Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network (EAN). IAG plans to equip in excess of 300 aircraft with EAN and aims to have 90% of its short haul fleet complete by early 2019. Airlines include Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling with installation having already commenced on the British Airways fleet, with three aircraft fitted to date. EAN allows European passengers to use their personal devices for internet browsing, video streaming, gaming and other online services, with unmatched high capacity and is the first solution in the world to integrate connectivity from a satellite, operated by Inmarsat, and a complementary LTE-based ground network, operated by Deutsche Telekom.


SITA

Drop&Fly, SITA’s bag-drop unit, has been awarded the prestigious 2017 iF Design Award: Public Product, in recognition of its state-of-the-art design and intuitive user interface.

Drop&Fly provides passengers with an easy-to-use interface which makes checking-in bags a convenient and pleasant experience. Its one-step self-bag drop process, which allows passengers to print their tags and check-in their bags at the same time, delivers a fast, customer-centric passenger experience. It is fully customizable to the individual needs of the airport and its hybrid functionality enables a switch from self-service to an agent-assisted mode in a matter of seconds. The iF Design Award, recognized as a symbol of design excellence around the world, confirms SITA’s expertize in matching form and function.


Other

  • Stockholders approved the ROCKWELL COLLINS and B/E AEROSPACE merger.
  • Kelvin Boyette’s Latitude Aero did the Aircraft Interiors promo right – he showed us where his booth is located
  • And lastly, Geoff Underwood, CEO of IFPL has a second calling, sorta – Check it out!

Chicago | March 8, 2017– Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading global provider of in-flight broadband connectivity and connectivity-enabled services to commercial and business aviation, has reached a major milestone by installing its 3,000th commercial aircraft with in-flight connectivity.

Today, the company has 3,000 commercial aircraft and more than 4,200 business aircraft, totaling 7,200 aircraft installed. More than 130 of the 3,000 commercial aircraft are now installed with Gogo’s industry leading 2Ku technology that leverages Gogo’s global satellite network.

“The demand for in-flight connectivity continues to grow at a rapid pace and we are quickly moving beyond connecting passengers to connecting flight attendants, pilots and eventually components on the planes themselves,” said Michael Small, president and CEO at Gogo. “To meet this demand, Gogo has invested in the best broadband networks to meet the needs of global aviation — no matter the size of the aircraft or where that aircraft flies.”

Most of the 7,200 aircraft are connected using Gogo’s North American ground network, but an increasing number of commercial aircraft are now flying on Gogo’s global satellite network.

2Ku relies on the new low profile, high efficiency Ku-band satellite antennas that outperform other connectivity solutions in the global aviation market. Since the announcement of Gogo’s 2Ku technology, 12 airlines representing more than 1500 aircraft have signed up for the service. Nearly all of these aircraft are expected to be installed by the end of 2018.

“Whether an aircraft is flying on our global satellite network or on our North American ATG network, we are delivering industry leading performance in terms of coverage, cost, capacity and reliability. With high-throughput satellites being added to our global network and an upgrade being made to our ATG network, both networks will bring even better performance in 2017 and beyond,” added Small.

APEX/IFSA
The other day, we got a note from Robin Applebaum, APEX Marketing Communication Director we thought you might like to see: “I wanted to reach out to you today with some exciting news from the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and the International Flight Service Association (IFSA). This morning, APEX and IFSA announced a more tightly aligned relationship to better serve the global airline industry. This step will help to further solidify APEX as the industry’s most influential member-based organization dedicated to elevating the entire passenger experience; and will help IFSA to grow globally as the pivotal airline association of the catering and in-flight services market. While both APEX and IFSA will remain fully independent, this alliance triggers additional collaboration in the planning of association co-locations and events, joint working groups, reciprocal guest board member attendance at board meetings, as well as now having a common Chief Executive Officer serving both associations.”

When we asked for more background info, she responded: “As I am sure you are aware, APEX and the International Flight Service Association (IFSA), have had a long established ‘sister-association relationship.’ Last week’s announcement only serves to further align the two groups. As part of this strategic relationship, APEX will be leveraging IFSA to represent the foundation of the association’s catering and services sector. “This will not only help the association to grow its footprint, but will also further solidify APEX as the industry’s most influential member-based organization dedicated to elevating the entire passenger experience. For IFSA, aligning with APEX will help them to expand its reach globally, build additional strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations, and establish itself as the industry’s global representative of the growing catering and in-flight/onboard hospitality market.”

“Additionally, the inclusion of more catering and service elements at APEX events will attract greater numbers of senior airline decision makers who oversee this sector as well as IFE by offering a greater diversification of products, services and information. As demonstrated at APEX EXPO in Singapore, this type of approach yields an increase in potential customers for event exhibitors and other vendor participants. Finally, it will help to better position APEX events against the backdrop of assertive for-profit show competition.”


Gogo
“To celebrate the fleet-wide upgrade to their new JAL SKY NEXT product, the airline will start offering free Wi-Fi on all equipped domestic flights from February 1, 2017 till August 31st 2017. Connectivity is provided through Gogo using our satellite Internet technology. You’ll find the SKY NEXT product on select 777 -300, 777-200, 767-300 and 737-800 aircraft. JAL was our first international customer, and we’ve been honored to partner with them since 2014 on connectivity and entertainment for their domestic passengers.

This promotion from JAL is just one of the latest to offer Gogo products and services free to their passengers. Last year, we partnered with T-Mobile to provide free Wi-Fi to their subscribers, and most recently, Alaska Airlines rolled out their Free ChatTM product which lets passengers access popular chat apps like iMessage, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp on their smartphone.

In addition to connectivity promotions, we also provide the technology allowing airlines to offer free wireless entertainment to their customers. The product, called Gogo Vision, streams movies and TV shows from our airborne server to most mobile devices, laptops and tablets. Movies and TV shows from Gogo Vision can now be found on more than 2800 aircaft on some the largest airlines in the world. Today, many of Gogo’s airline partners are offering all or some of the content free to passengers.”


AirSatOne
Aviation Satcom provider, AirSatOne, announces lower rates for its SwiftBroadband connectivity. Taking care of customers is a top priority at AirSatOne and one reason why the company maintains a 99% customer retention rate. So when Inmarsat, the leader in global satellite communications, lowered its prices AirSatOne was quick to pass the savings on to its customers.

Customers using AirSatOne as their service provider have access to its custom global network for the same price as the generic network used by the competition. AirSatOne’s custom network includes worldwide teleports and IP PoP (Internet Point of Presence) with advanced network security and our globally deployed Flightstream SA which provides web filtering, compression, consumption tracking and firewall customized for mobile communications.

“We think this is an exciting time for the Satcom market. With more and more operators and executives finding it essential to conduct business and stay in sync with the home office while traveling, we hope reducing airtime charges will encourage more aircraft owners to invest in installing Satcom systems in their aircraft,” says Kremsreiter. Satcom systems work everywhere (except at the poles) so in addition to increasing productivity, Satcom hardware increases the aircraft’s value and worldwide marketability when it comes time to sell.


SITA
Airlines and airports are investing in technologies to help predict and prepare for future events. This is according to The Future is Predictable, a report published today by air transport IT provider, SITA. It outlines how efforts are being made to tackle the estimated US$25 billion[1] cost of flight disruptions to the air transport industry by harnessing artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, predictive analytics and other progressive technical capabilities.

SITA’s analysis reveals that predictive tools using artificial intelligence and cognitive computing are likely to be adopted by half of airlines and airports over the coming five to 10 years. However, a few front runners are already trialing predictive modeling, machine learning, and data mining. These efforts are mainly focused on initiatives that will provide passengers with more relevant information about their journey to create more seamless and personal experiences.

During 2017, SITA Lab will be validating delay predictions with airlines and airports and expects to complete up to five trials with its industry partners. The next stage will be to incorporate its delay prediction algorithm and disruption warning feeds into SITA’s services to the air transport industry. In the report, leading airports and airlines share their experiences including Gatwick Airport where a seamless passenger experience from curb to gate is the goal. Here several different areas of airport activity are tracked to measure performance and move towards predicting it.

As artificial intelligence develops the importance of maintaining the human touch is not lost on the airlines and airports. Indeed, the combination of people and artificial intelligence is described as transforming the travel experience. The science of artificial intelligence is developing quickly and airlines and airports are turning to the academic community to help them with predictive tools to tackle disruptions. SITA’s report discusses research that is being carried out with scientists from Binghamton University, State University of New York; University of Nottingham as part the European Union-funded consortium PASSME; Carnegie Mellon University; Oxford University’s Data Science Laboratory in the Mathematical Institute and University College London School of Management.

The Future is Predictable combines SITA’s global industry experience and studies with commentary and case studies from airports and airlines that are investing in the latest research and technologies.

Check out the full press release here.
For further details download SITA’s full report – The Future is Predictable


Phitek
New Zealand-based audio equipment and technology developer Phitek Systems has been sold to New York-listed Amphenol Corp, providing an exit for a number of domestic VC investors. Phitek’s previous backers include Direct Capital-managed TMT Ventures and Stephen Tindal’s K1W1 investment vehicle. TMT, which has been invested since 2005, has a direct 27 per cent and a 14 per cent holding shared with the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund. Meanwhile, K1W1 owns 39 per cent. Phitek designs and supplies aircraft in-flight entertainment interconnect products for the commercial aerospace industry. You can read more here.


Lufthansa Technik
Luftahansa Technik has announced a two-in-one solution (TIOS) antenna radome for the Boeing 737-700 and -800. The antenna, installed on the vertical stabilizer to reduce drag and positively affect the aircraft’s center of gravity, will make it possible to install Ka-band antennas to provide high-speed internet, TV connections and a high-definition camera. The radome is up to 200 lb. (100 kg) lighter than the original and is FAA validated and has an EASA Supplemental Type Certification. You can find satellite communication options, products, services and companies in MRO Links, MRO-Network.com’s searchable directory.

TIOS – Two antennas under one radome – YouTube


Notes

  • Rich Salter told IFExpress: “Re: data transmission via light (LiFi), I just signed on to Moderate a session at AIX’ Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) on April 3 in Hamburg. It is the Tech Horizons session (last one of the day) in the Connected Journey track, and one of the presenters is Prof Harald Haas of Edinburgh who is founder of PureLiFi  – and he coined the term “LiFi” too.”
  • Richie Sugimoto reports that Aircraft Cabin Systems has just received Certification of ISO9001 and AS9100 – Congratulations!

More Stuff


News:

Lufthansa Systems

Brussels Airlines introduced a new passenger service system in 2016. To make its departure control and adjacent applications accessible from the respective CUTE systems at each of the airports in its network, the Belgian airline is using cFront/LAGUNA from Lufthansa Systems. CUTE stands for Common Use Terminal Equipment. This software enables airlines to make shared use of airport IT infrastructures. This means that different airlines can use the same hardware to access their own servers for passenger and flight handling. The cFront/LAGUNA adapter software helps standardize the different versions of the CUTE systems.

“We have more than 100 destination airports in our route network. As an airline, it isn’t possible for us to develop interfaces for every version of CUTE and acquire the necessary certifications. This is why we are relying on the expertise of Lufthansa Systems,” said Paul Rogiers, Delivery Manager Outstations/IT at Brussels Airlines.

For many years, Lufthansa Systems has offered airlines comprehensive CUTE services – from setting up the applications to carrying out updates and maintenance. cFront/LAGUNA was modified by the experts to meet the specific needs of the Lufthansa Group. The software is based on the CUTE solution known as cGroup. It accesses an airline’s IT systems in a smooth, standardized way and supports all leading CUTE platforms as well as the new standards for Common Use Passenger Processing Systems (CUPPS). In addition to Brussels Airlines, other airlines in the Lufthansa Group are also using cFront/LAGUNA. This means different airlines in the Group can benefit from a shared check-in system if necessary. Users can access the system from anywhere with a web app. cFront/LAGUNA also offers monitoring functions that provide an overview of the status at all CUTE and CUPPS airports and enables the responsible management team to intervene quickly in the event of a disruption.

“Thanks to the shared certification and provision of cFront/LAGUNA, the Group solution was already available at many of the airports in Brussels Airlines’ network. During the implementation, we simply had to add the information specific to Brussels Airlines. This saved money and ensured a fast launch,” said Bjoern Steinbrecher, Head of cGroup Solutions at Lufthansa Systems.

Established in 2002, Brussels Airlines from Belgium is part of the Lufthansa Group and a member of the Star Alliance. With a fleet of 49 aircraft, Brussels Airlines connects the European capital of Brussels with more than 100 destinations in Europe, Africa, India and North America.”

VISION-BOX

On a similar subject, Vision-Box also has automated airport passenger electronic control devices. We realize this is not IFEC, but  you are going to see a lot of this ground-based technology in the future. Since this technology free’s up a lot of people, border and airport automated technologies will increase for identifying passengers and visitors and a recent release about a Caribbean airport at St. Maarten caught our eye. “Juliana International Airport just upgraded to the new Vision-Box™ which is a self-service biometric Automated Border Control eGates intended to modernize the process, improve the security of the identification procedure, and expedite passenger flow at one more stage of the passenger journey across the airport!”  The news release went on: “vb i-match ™ ABC eGates have now recently announced a seamless passenger journey designed by Vision-Box ™, joining the existing vb i-match ™ security checkpoint gates installed in the first phase of the project. Together, these solutions are streamlining identification processes for departing passengers, when entering airside and clearing immigration.” We also understand that the arrival of biometric ABC technology at SMX (Juliana) Airport means that after successfully entering airport side by using vb i-match ™ security checkpoint eGates, passengers crossing the border will be able to complete the entire immigration process in a few seconds using customer-centric, self service touchpoint vb i-match ™ ABC”. Here is how it works: “Once at the eGate, the passenger will first scan their ePassport, where facial biometric information from the echip is scanned and matched with a live facial image capture of the passenger. Once all identification and safety checks have been successfully conducted, the passenger is allowed to clear immigration. At the forefront of modernizing the immigration clearance procedure is cutting-edge fraud detection and self-clearing biometric identification capabilities, using an advanced eGate security algorithm authenticating the passengers ePassport and identifying identity through multiple fraud and security operations, which just takes a few seconds.” We note that “Newly appointed airport ambassadors are there to greet and guide travelers in the use of the eGates, additionally to the support of a passenger-centered, expertly designed user Interface, oriented towards the success of the operation! Additionally, every passenger transaction is closely monitored by an immigration officer using vb inspector ™, a monitoring system giving the officers immediate information on each passenger’s identity and transaction status, detecting identity fraud, leveraging biometric and biographic information during real-time checks of intelligence and criminal databases, and instantly alerting border officers in case of an emergency.”

Editor’s Note: If you think there is not enough electronics in the airport departure and entry areas, you need to keep your eye on companies like Lufthansa Systems and Vision-Box.  www.vision-box.com. Here is another link about the coming technology.

APPS

We recently came across an interesting website about the use of Android apps for passenger devices.

While a bit old (2014 – 2015) we note their comments: “The average customer rating across Apple App Store and Google Play for the 12 major European airlines included in this study grew from 3.2 to 3.6 (on 1 to 5 scale) between January 2014 and October 2015. And you guessed it – this app stuff is getting a lot more important to travelers.

Airlines aiming at increasing personalization are aware of the importance of mobile apps. However, a prerequisite to unleashing new streams of ancillary revenues through tailored offers is offering an outstanding digital user experience.” The app importance is noted in the link above, but tnooz said: “The average customer rating across Apple App Store and Google Play for the 12 major European airlines included in this study grew from 3.2 to 3.6 (on 1 to 5 scale) between January 2014 and October 2015. While the airline average was around 3.1 to 3.6 (or lower) a reader sent us LATAM’s score (a few months old) – 4.0 Google/4.0 Apple – Guess who designed it?  If you said Zii, you win!

ZODIAC

And speaking of Zodiac Aerospace, Safran will buy them and merge the two companies with lots of financial machinations if all the business offers are accepted. In the end, Safran landing gear, nacelle, power systems, actuators and avionics would be combined with the Zodiac seats, cabin interiors, power distribution, lighting, safety, and oxygen/fluid/safety equipment.

Here are the involved Zodiac companies: Heath Tecna, Contour Aerospace, IMS (Zii), NAT, TriaGnoSys, PPP, and Greenpoint Technologies.

One expert said that the message here is clear, Safran see’s the future of electrical and avionic involvement in in aircraft. We believe, because of their native product differences, that management selection will be very critical as the two companies are so different and almost opposite talents. It is worth noting that the combined company would have about 92,000 employees and we understand Safran purchase is estimated to be approximately  $9.5 Billion. Interestingly, Safran attempted this acquisition in 2010. FYI, if the deal goes through, Safran will be number three Tier 1 supplier behind GE and United Technologies. However, the purchase is still subject to shareholder approval and if so it will close at the end of 2017/ 1st Qtr. 2018. Stay Tuned.

GOGO

Gogo announced that it has promoted Jon Cobin to Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Gogo. Cobin has served in a leadership position at Gogo for six years, most recently as head of strategy and global sales for Gogo’s commercial aviation division.  In his new role, he will continue to manage strategy and sales, but will take on the added responsibilities of managing Gogo’s product and marketing teams. Under Jon’s leadership the company has experienced numerous successes, including adding more than 1,000 2Ku aircraft to the backlog in 2016. “Gogo is at the forefront of technology development and innovation and combining our strategy group with product, sales and marketing enables us to better align the organization around meeting the needs of our global airline partners,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO. “Jon’s proven leadership makes him the right person for this role.” Congratulations Jon!

 THALES

JetBlue announced the completion of its fleet-wide Fly-Fi installations and they said: “Fly-Fi is the revolutionary Wi-Fi service offered to JetBlue passengers for free across the carrier’s 227 aircraft, including Airbus A320s, A321s and Embraer 190s. This Wi-Fi offering was developed by Thales InFlyt Experience to meet JetBlue’s expectation to offer connectivity services for every seat, on every aircraft. This service allows passengers to connect and remain connected from gate-to-gate. With the completion of these installations, Thales has again enhanced the passenger experience for JetBlue by providing high-bandwidth connectivity services that complement existing stored and live in-flight entertainment products.” For additional details on this service, please refer to this JetBlue press release.

GLOBAL EAGLE

Global Eagle Entertainment, CA secured a $500m senior-secured term-loan facility and a new $85m senior-secured revolving credit facility.

LATE PREDICTION

This came into us after publishing last Tuesday. It is a prediction submission from FlightPath3D: “We predict 2017 as the year the industry finally recognizes the PAX audience as the most highly coveted demographic for advertisers and begins real & sustained efforts to bridge the gap between them.”

A RUMOR

An unnamed IFExpress reporter told us: “Yesterday, I spoke with a friend of mine at (US) FCC and he confirmed that there will be organizational structure changes within. The alleged purpose is to “streamline” the licensing process. We’ll see. I have my doubts with any Federal bureaucracy. However, it could make for an interesting scenario with the 14 GHz air-to-ground license auctions. I suspect the license costs will go higher. Notwithstanding the purported organization changes, with every presidential transition period, he told me, from Republican – to – Democrat, or vice versa, or has about a 3-4 month period when almost nothing happens.” We concur.

LASTLY

You gotta see this – it might work! The Worst Seat on a Plane Gets Better: New Middle Seats

 

 

Chicago, IL | January 19, 2017– Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the global leader in providing broadband connectivity solutions and wireless entertainment to the aviation industry, announced today that it has promoted Jon Cobin to Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Gogo.

Cobin has served in a leadership position at Gogo for six years, most recently as head of strategy and global sales for Gogo’s commercial aviation division. In his new role, he will continue to manage strategy and sales, but will take on the added responsibilities of managing Gogo’s product and marketing teams.

Under Jon’s leadership the company has experienced numerous successes, including adding more than 1,000 2Ku aircraft to the backlog in 2016.

“Gogo is at the forefront of technology development and innovation and combining our strategy group with product, sales and marketing enables us to better align the organization around meeting the needs of our global airline partners,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO. “Jon’s proven leadership makes him the right person for this role.”

Prior to Gogo, Cobin served as the head of strategy at Centennial Communications and held positions of increasing responsibility as a strategy consultant at Dean & Company and in investment banking at J.P. Morgan. He received his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude, from Dartmouth College.